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NVC: Gandhian Principles for Everyday Living (Part 2 of 7)
By Miki Kashtan
This is the second of a 7-part series that looks at the roots of NVC within Gandhi's explorations of nonviolence. Part 1 examined the question of why the word nonviolence has a "negative" in it, and located the roots of nonviolence in a form of love that recognizes and accepts the humanity of each person regardless of their actions or beliefs.
 
The Second Principle: The Courage to Face Consequences
The history of nonviolence is replete with examples of people willing to endure extreme consequences to live in line with their values. The Gandhian tradition, in particular, includes the willingness to face death in order to achieve the intention and experience of pure nonviolence. Keep reading this article below >>
 
 
What Will Happen After You Help get Marshall
on Oprah?

From the desks of Meiji Stewart and Neill Gibson
Will millions of people discover the life-changing benefits of Nonviolent Communication? Will business and government leaders learn new ways to meet everyone's needs peacefully? Will our children grow up in a world where compassion and understanding are just "the way things work"?

There's no telling really, but you can be sure that without widespread exposure to consciousness shifting work like Nonviolent Communication, we can expect business and politics as usual. Keep reading this article below >>
 
 
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Inspiration
 

"We can make life miserable or wonderful for ourselves and others depending upon how we think and communicate."

- Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

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Go to the video now and select the "Share This" link in the right corner to post to your social media profile and share with others.

World-renowned author, peacemaker, and conflict resolution expert, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D. talks about the keys to prevent all forms of conflict and violence in this 10-minute video.

 
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Gandhian Principles... continued

"Just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for non-violence. Violence does not mean emancipation from fear, but discovering the means of combating the cause of fear. Non-violence, on the other hand, has no cause for fear… He who has not overcome all fear cannot practice ahimsa." ( All Men Are Brothers , p. 104)

"I must obey, even at the cost of my life, the law of love." ( Golden Treasury of Wisdom , p. 34)

"He/she should not do that which he/she knows to be wrong, and suffer the consequence whatever it may be, this is the key to the use of soul-force." ( Hind Swaraj , p. 69).

When we look deeper, we see that it is our internal response to the consequences, namely our fear, which stops us from acting on our full truth at all times. I doubt that Gandhi meant to imply that one would have to feel no fear. I rather believe the focus is on the willingness to overcome the fear.

The Source of Courage

What fuels courage, if we read Gandhi's quotes carefully, is the conviction of truth and integrity, coupled with the abiding trust in love's power. The intensity of love and commitment serves as a form of fire that burns through the perceived danger. This love is not dependent on the behavior of other people. This love continues even in the extreme of enduring violence against self.

Fear itself doesn't go away as the practice of nonviolence deepens. What changes is the ability to bear it and still choose love and courage. With enough practice and commitment, acting based on fear becomes less and less of a draw.

Indeed, Gandhi, who ceaselessly attempted to live the principles of his teaching, time and again walked directly into potential harm's way to carry out his plans. During the civil war that broke out towards the end of the independence campaign between Hindus and Muslims, for example, Gandhi (in his 70s) walked through the most dangerous and violent zones (Bihar state and Noakhali) to "live the truth he went to teach" ( Gandhi the Man , p. 90).

"It is not at all impossible that we may have to endure every hardship that we can imagine, and wisdom lies in pledging ourselves on the understanding that we shall have to suffer all that and worse." ( Gandhi the Man , p. 99)

Practicing the Principles

The practice of NVC applies the principles of nonviolence primarily to relationships and to dialogue. Most people who practice NVC rarely apply it in circumstances where danger to life may be present, although increasing numbers do so successfully. Whether or not physical danger is present, practicing NVC invites us to profound emotional vulnerability. It is our emotional self that might be "injured" or "die" as we open ourselves to truth and love in our interactions with ourselves and other humans.

For many, these interactions become a stimulus for intense fear that is experienced as a threat to survival. For example, in the context of everyday living, when someone judges us harshly, the threat to our physical survival is highly unlikely. And yet we often rally to defend ourselves as if our survival were at stake. It takes a great deal of practice to remain open and calm and even loving and curious in the face of criticism, blame, or judgment. This practice is what prepares us for the kind of uncompromising love that nonviolence expresses.

At the same time, the practice of opening up to whatever comes our way has an unexpected benefit. As we engage with it, we learn that in fact our emotional self is not in any danger. Our soul, our human essence, the truth of who we are, are regularly strengthened by stretching into this vulnerability.

The next segment of this 7-part series explores the 3rd principle that NVC shares with Ghandian nonviolence: the commitment to seeing the humanity of other people no matter what they do to us or others. This part includes a practice of transforming enemy images to enhance the willingness and capacity to see humanity by relating actions to shared human needs.

The complete bibliography for the series can be found online at NVC Gandhian Principles Bibliography.

Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. She leads workshops and intensive retreats in Nonviolent Communication throughout the United States and in Japan, Europe, Brazil, and Africa, and offers mediation, meeting facilitation, coaching, and training for organizations. Miki hosts the Conflict Hotline, a monthly live call-in TV show, and blogs regularly at The Fearless Heart. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and her articles have appeared in Tikkun magazine and elsewhere.

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Marshall on Oprah, continued

Your willingness to invest 15 to 20 minutes to help create this future would be greatly appreciated. (See how we are expressing our appreciation below.)

Why Now?

Right now we have a unique opportunity to get the attention of the producers of the Oprah show. Recently Ed and Deb Shapiro , contributors authors for the Spirituality section Oprah's website, posted an article, 7 Men Transforming the World , listing Marshall as one of "...seven men who are making a difference to our world."

We've contacted these authors and they were gracious enough to forward our requests for an appearance by Marshall to their contact at the Oprah show. We are very grateful for their willingness to do this.

But even more importantly, you can help get the attention of the Oprah show now while this opportunity is still fresh.

1. Post a Comment to the Recent Article on
   Oprah's Website

We're pretty sure that Oprah's people pay attention to how many visits and comments their various articles get. So, the more people who visit and read -- and especially the more comments that are posted to this article -- the more likely it is that her producers will take note.

How can you help?

Click here for direct links, instructions for the most effective way to post your comment, and how to receive our "gift of appreciation" for taking these actions.

Get Marshall on Oprah Campaign

2. Ask Oprah to Have Marshall as a Guest

To help make sure the producers are paying attention to this "groundswell of support" for an appearance by Marshall, you can also click the following link and urge the producers to bring Marshall Rosenberg to the show.

Click here for direct links, instructions for the most effective way to post your comment, and how to receive our "gift of appreciation" for taking these actions.

Get Marshall on Oprah Campaign

What's In It for You?

Well, besides to possibility of supporting the well-being of millions of people, helping shift to a new paradigm in business and government, and taking part in creating a brighter future for our children...

We are also willing to give you a free copy of Marshall's book, Speak Peace in a World of Conflict . You'll need to cover shipping but you'll get the book for free.

All you'll need to do is confirm that you followed our guidelines and have taken these two actions.

Click here now to help get Marshall on Oprah!